Even the modifier ‘Miracle’ is insufficient to explain. Without a foreign starting pitcher, he went through wild cards (2 games), semi-playoffs (3 games), and play-offs (2 games) to step on the stage of the Korean Series for the first time in history for 7 consecutive years.
Doosan Bears’ ‘Game of Thrones’, which started in 2015 right after Kim Tae-hyung took over as manager, has been featured by Yang Eui-ji (NC), Kim Hyeon-su (LG), Lee Won-seok (Samsung), Min Byung-hun (Lotte/retired), Oh Jae-il (Samsung), Choi Joo-hwan (SSG), etc. It continued despite the steady outflow of players. This year, especially in the absence of foreign players (rockets, Miranda), he showed the potential to rise to the final stage of autumn baseball as if to break the dojo.
Doosan, which defeated the Kiwoom Heroes (5th place), LG Twins (3rd place) and Samsung Lions (2nd place) in order, is now challenging the regular league leader Katy (KT) Wiz for the presidency. Their record this season is 9-7, with Katie leading. The two teams also met in the playoffs last year, and at the time, 3rd place Doosan defeated 2nd place Katie, who was a beginner in fall baseball, with 3 wins and 1 loss.
Doosan showed a strong sense of hitting through wild cards (team batting average of 0.346), semi-playoffs (0.306), and playoffs (0.380). On the mound, Lee Young-ha, Hong Geon-hee, and Lee Hyun-seung were the center of the bullpen. Using the ‘Autumn Baseball DNA’ that he had accumulated over the years as a stepping stone, baseball worked out well as coach Kim Tae-hyung thought. However, there is a physical problem because I played 7 games.
Shim Jae-hak, commentator of MBC Sports Plus, said, “Doosan has the upper hand in the fight for the atmosphere. Because of the physical aspect, I think Doosan will have to see the match within Game 5.” Regarding Katie, he said, “The reason why Samsung lost to Doosan in the playoff despite their superiority was because the players could not control their excitement and tension. . In addition, he predicted that “the timing of pitching change will be the main variable” for this Korean Series.
After the union into a single league in 1989 and the establishment of the semi-play-off system, there have been three cases where the third-placed team in the regular league won the Korean Series. Lotte Giants in 1992 and Doosan in 2001 and 2015. However, the fourth-placed team has never ascended to the throne. This is because there is a physical burden as well as a difference in power.
There was a time when the 4th placed team reached the threshold of the championship in the Korean Series. That was the case with Doosan in 2013. Doosan, who was 4th in the regular league at the time, played 9 matches in the semi-playoffs (5 games) and playoffs (4 games), and went on to the Korean Series against Samsung, winning 3 games (1 loss) first. For the first time in history, it was predicted that the fourth-placed team would revolt, but after that, they fell like a lie and lost three matches and gave up the presidency. The shockwave caused Doosan to fire coach Jin-wook Kim, who was the runner-up in the Korean Series.
Doosan was the first team to compete in a wild card match to perform in the Korean Series. In the best-of-seven Korean Series, the winning team in the first round has a 73.7% chance of winning. However, Doosan won the championship after losing the first match in 2001 and 2015 as well. In 2007, they became the first team to give up the series even after winning the first and second games. This is the reason why Doosan, who was the destroyer of fall baseball probability, is more curious about the move.
The first game of the Korean Series will be held at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 14th (2pm). This year’s Korean Series will be held only at Gocheok Dome due to the cold like last year, and only those who have completed vaccinations are allowed 100% admission.